Dedicated to all Veterans
Recollections of the
2nd Loudspeaker & Leaflet Co
Ft. Riley, KS and Ft. Bragg, NC
THEN Frank R. Haus NOW
I reported to the 2nd Loudspeaker & Leaflet Co. at Camp Forsyth, Ft. Riley Kansas in August of 1951. My orders were to proceed from Ft. Sheridan, IL o/a 17 Aug 1951 and to report w/o delay. My effective date of transfer to the 2nd L & L was 23 Aug 1951. We did not arrive there until on or after that date as we could not proceed further then Kansas City, MO due to the flooding of the Kaw and Mississippi Rivers. We were authorized temporary quarters at the YMCA until roads were again open to traffic. Just after I arrived word finally caught up to me that back on 29 July 1951 I had been promoted to Pvt (E-2).
Upon arrival I reported to the CO. He was a Capt Howard R. Clisham. I recall that in civilian life he was a hard-drinking newspaper editor from Seattle, Wash. In the Army he was a hard drinking, misplaced civilian in uniform. Obie, our company clerk (Cpl. Masao Obayashi from Hawaii) would get the Captain going every morning by sticking a lighted cigarette in his mouth and handing him a cup of the strongest black coffee he could rustle up. Then after routine signing of the morning report, OKed by our first sergeant, MSGT Spencer Huggins, he would meet with his platoon officers and training would begin for the day. Quite readily he agreed with the recommendation that I be given the job of Personnel Clerk for the company to replace Cpl Ed Flannery. Ed was a reservist (one who had served 11 months at the end of WW II and had been recalled at the beginning of the Korean Conflict). He was due for separation from active duty, but he extended his active duty by 90 days so that he could teach me the job! Also upon arrival when I drew my bedding, weapon, and other equipment I met SFC Goodwin, Supply Sergeant and Pvt Clarence Takano, Supply Clerk. All great people. Huggins and Goodwin were "old timers" who later left the company for duty with the special group conducting the A-Bomb tests.
After morning roll call, I would travel to the main post Headquarters Building where we had desk space in the personnel section. As long as Ed stayed on we used his personal WW II style Jeep to travel back and forth. Ed had bought it as surplus near the end of his first hitch in Germany, and knowing the ropes, had it shipped home to Denver, Colorado as household goods! (He wasn't even married at the time...) I can recall that the OIC of the Personnel Office was a WAC, 1st Lt. Gaddwell, a very statuesque blonde and a real lady. This routine was only broken when I had to attend various lectures on PsyWar procedures. Then on 16 Oct 1951 I was promoted to PFC (E-3) and on 13 Nov 1951 my MOS was officially changed to 4816, Personnel Specialist. After Ed was separated the captain's driver usually took me to main post. I didn't get a military driver's license since they made you wash the Jeep when you brought it back!
At Ft. Riley we were part of the Aggressor Forces (the "enemy" in war games conducted by the Army). While at Ft. Riley the Company was given Temporary Duty at Ft. Hood, TX for Operation "Longhorn". The TOE for an L & L Co only called for 98 men (I can't recall if that was enlisted personnel or total of officers and enlisted). If I can recall, the company was composed of headquarters, publication, and loudspeaker platoons. We were fortunate to have our own mess, excellent cooks and a great mess sergeant who knew how to get great supplies for the kitchen. Everything was packed up; and everything and everyone went by convoy to Ft. Hood. I remember the night on the road we stayed at "The Cow Palace" in Oklahoma City, OK where we used the dormitory rooms that normally were for the exhibitors at their big fair and by the riders in their rodeos. Much better then camping out! We even had the use of a shower room; great after traveling in open Jeeps and the back of trucks with just canvas over the top. Upon our arrival at Ft. Hood most of the men that had traveled in open jeeps had to report on sick-call for extreme sun and wind burn. We were assigned to barracks that were empty at the time, another great plus. Only the loudspeaker teams were forced to spend some time in the field. Another memory of Ft. Hood is that the wind seemed to blow incessantly, I'm sure those teams remember that!
While at Ft. Hood several WACS were assigned to us to be the voice of "Lorelei, The Voice of The Aggressor". I can't recall any of them! One did the sultry type and one did the girl back home type voice for the many messages played over the loudspeakers to the troops in the field. Instead of having "tape" recorders we had "wire" recorders that were forever getting jammed since the wire tended not to lay evenly on the spools! Company HQ was in a small building where everything was very crowded since the rear room was also used as a recording studio. However it was quite a bit better then working in squad tents!
It wasn't all work, however. We did manage to have a company party in Temple, TX at some club. We had arranged for two buses from post transportation to take us to and from the party. The next morning we had to send a detail to their motor pool to clean up the inside of the buses - UGH! Too many had gotten sick... their Major was VERY upset at us!
I believe it was at Ft. Hood that the Loudspeaker Platoon had a tragic accident. Lt. Ackerman was in a jeep that turned over in a ditch and he suffered a back injury that caused him to be paralyzed. I recall that his father, Col Ackerman, Commander of the Infantry School at Ft. Benning, Ga. came to be with his son in his time of need, but after that I lost track of him.
As I was preparing these memoirs I heard from ex-2nd Lt. Elmer Horne who reminded me that in the summer of 1951 a detachment from the 2nd L & L was sent to Ft. Bragg, NC to participate in Exercise "Southern Pines". He tells me that the Detachment convoyed out of Riley for Ft. Bragg sometime in July 1951 and got back on 3 September 1951. This brought to mind that during that winter a portion of the publication platoon was on detached service to Camp Drum, NY for participation in Exercise "Snowshoe"! We yet have to sort out what portion of the company went where!
After we returned to Ft. Riley I was based in an Engineering Group headquarters just down the road from our company area, instead of at main post. I think it was a cartography group but I cannot recall the designation. The OIC of the Personnel Office was a CWO Plana, formerly of the Philippine Constabulary. It took me several weeks before I could understand him on the first try! He was very patient, however, and a great mentor in Army office procedures. While at that office I was given the additional job of handling all the enlisted records for the Psychological Warfare Detachment, ASU 5021 that the Army was forming at Ft. Riley. There were hundred of records to process, first in and then out as the Detachment (To become the 6th R B & L) and the 2nd L & L Co. were prepared for transfer to The Psychological Warfare Center at Ft. Bragg, NC.1 One very interesting MSGT that I processed had been a one star general in the Army Air Corp. When the Air Force was formed he decided to remain in the Army and reverted to his old permanent rank of MSGT. When he was on the post I noticed that even the officers saluted him! I imagine they expected him to regain his commission at any time. Another interesting case was a MSGT Fox, a survivor of the Bataan death march in WW II. While with us he received all his back pay from the years of imprisonment by the Japanese. I think he was intoxicated for a month!
Also upon our return to Ft. Riley we found ourselves with an Acting CO, 1st Lt. Edward F. Kaye. We never did get the full story. Rumor had it that Captain Clisham was relieved from duty and had orders that reassigned him to the Far East Command (FECOM). We never did find out what was the true story.
By the time we went to North Carolina I think that Lt. Kaye had departed for another assignment and I seem to recall that our Acting CO was 1st Lt. Jack Thiess. I seem to recall he was a magazine editor from St. Louis, MO. All the officers were personable people and professional men, who got along well not only each other but with the enlisted men as well. In a Company as small as our's, and with officers who were reservists, there was quite a bit of comradeship. They even messed with us in the company dining hall!
When we arrived at Smoke Bomb Hill at Ft. Bragg (probably about the end of May or the beginning of June 1952) the entire Company was restricted to the company area for 3 days while we got everything in shape. After the three days we were allowed to look over the post and find post theater, USO facilities and NCO Clubs! Then Class A passes were issued and we were allowed to leave the post for the first time in about a week. The following morning there were an awful lot of bleary eyed people at roll call. Several things we learned very quickly; first, don't go off post with "bloused" boots as that was the prerogative of the Airborne, and two, don't get in between the boy's from the 82nd Airborne and the Air Force boy's from Pope AF Base since a fight could break out at the drop of a hat.
First order of business for me was going over all the personnel records. At first I worked in a temporary office (I think it was a converted barracks). I seem to recall that the Personnel Officer was a CWO but I can't recall his name. All personnel had to have security clearance and this was our first priority. My local grocer in Ephrata (I had worked at their store while still in high school) told me that a FBI agent called on them about me when I first was assigned to the 2nd L & L. Because we needed foreign language experts, we had quite a few men from Russian dominated as well as from far eastern countries. It was extremely hard to get creditable information on those that were originally from behind the Iron Curtain. Next priority was the monthly personnel levies. I'm afraid that most of the men that could not be cleared ultimately wound up in FECOM - and that usually meant they would go to Korea!
After we settled in at Smoke Bomb Hill we finally received a Regular Army Officer (A West Point Graduate) as CO. He was a captain that had been injured rather badly in Korea. It turned out that he became mentally disturbed and one evening after he restricted everyone to company area and ordered us to take defensive positions we had to call the MP's and Medics to come and remove him to the hospital. I understood that he then was transferred to Walter Reed Hospital for further evaluation and treatment. We all felt extremely sorry for him. After that 1st Lt. Dwayne M. Panzer was assigned as our CO. I still have a photo of him participating in a volleyball game!
As I read Alan Smith's page about the 8th Mobile Radio Broadcasting Co. of the 6th R B & L, I was reminded that in the 2nd L & L we also used old Hallicrafter receivers at first to monitor foreign broadcasts. As Alan mentions, after some time we sent a number of people up to the Gates Radio Company in Quincy, Illinois to take delivery on new receivers for use in the monitoring. I can't recall if this was while we were still at Ft. Riley or after we moved to Ft. Bragg! Unlike an M R B, the news gathered was used in publications and Loudspeaker "broadcasts".
At about the same time some personnel were also sent to a school (I can't remember the location) to become proficient in the use of the Vari-Typer. The Vari-Typer was used with photo-lithography. It typed with a single type element, a simple curved strip that could be quickly changed for a variety of typestyles. An original was created on plain paper, and a lithographic plate was produced from it by photography. Special materials were also available allowing the original to be typed directly on a thin, flexible printing plate. However these were generally only good for short runs of printing.
With the full activation of the 6th Radio Broadcasting & Leaflet Group (Group CO, Lt. Col. Lester L. Holmes), the 2nd L & L was first assigned to them for administration only, later they became part of the group. In his article "Major General Robert Alexis McClure, Forgotten Father of US Army Special Warfare" drawn from his dissertation in history at Duke University and from his subsequent book, "U.S. Army Special Warfare: Its Origins" (National Defense University Press, 1982), Dr. Alfred H. Paddock, Jr. (Colonel, USA Retired) has the following to say:
"Initially the 6th RB&L Group was the largest unit in the Center's force structure. Formed at Fort Riley and then shipped to Fort Bragg in June 1952, the 6th consisted of a headquarters company, the 7th Reproduction Company, the 8th Mobile radio Broadcasting Company and the 2nd Loudspeaker and Leaflet Company. In May 1953, OCPW (Office of the Chief of Psychological Warfare) activated the 12th Consolidation Company under the 6th RB&L Group. The organizational concept of the 6th RB&L Group, the forerunner of today's psychological operations group, was first employed in Korea." (As I was seperated from service near the end of March '53 I was unaware of these changes to the Group.)
I then worked in their group HQ and had a private office where I worked under 1st Lt Don M. Anderson, Acting Adjutant, who also served as Personnel Officer for the Group. I seem to recall that he was a professor in civilian life, possibly at Iowa State University. I think he was the one that was fluent in French, and used to read us the news that came in by radio from the UP in French and was monitored by the 8th Mobile Radio Broadcast Company of the Group. The headquarters SGT Major was MSG Dixon. His prior assignment was with the recruiting service and his request to return to that duty was finally approved. By that time I had been promoted to Sgt (E-5), so when he left I suddenly found myself ranking NCO working in the office and his duties became mine as well.
At the same time, things were proceeding as normal within the 2nd L & L Co. The company's basic mission was the training of personnel for assignment to other PsyWar units, as they would be activated. The core of NCOs were considered cadre and as such we were frozen in our unit and could not be levied for overseas assignment. The existing troops along with new people who arrived, continued to receive training in their specialties . In my own case, because the NCOs of higher rank were all married men and lived off post or in other quarters, I found that after daytime working hours I was also the ranking NCO remaining in the company area, and had the responsibility to see that the CQ duties etc. were carried out each evening. However, this did not cut too deeply into my personal hours for recreation. By that time I had my personal car at Ft. Bragg so travel around and off post was greatly enhanced!
Things began to go along in a fairly routine manner, and late in October 1952 I was able to take a two weeks leave. On 26 Oct 1952 my sweetheart Alina and I were married in Bethany United Church of Christ in Ephrata, PA. As we lived only a few hours from Gettysburg, PA and a corporals pay (even with a dependent) was not too great at that time, we spent a five-day honeymoon there. Yes, we even found time to tour the Battlefield. As I think back on it, my time in the Army was much better then my Grand Uncle James A. Haus who served in Co. K of the 77th Pa. Infantry during the Civil War, from the latter part of April 1861 to 6 Dec 1865 and was wounded at Chickamauga, GA, 19 Sep 1863. He was able, however, to rise from Private to Captain during that time.
After returning to duty and gaining even more experience in handling personnel records and other office duties in the "Army" way I received the MOS of 1502, Administrative Specialist. The experience served me well later when I was separated from active service on 29 March 1953. Although I received a recommendation from Lt. Anderson for a commission in the Reserve Forces, I decided not to apply for one, as I would have then been in the Active Reserve. Instead I decided to remain inactive for the required 5-year period until actual discharge. At the end of 1956 the Army decided to discharge those in the inactive reserve. Effective 19 Mar 1957 I received my Honorable Discharge From the Armed Forces of the United States of America, slightly more then 1 year earlier than I expected. I often think that if I had applied for and received a commission I probably would have been called to active duty during the war in Viet Nam!
I hope that my facts are straight in the above recitation. After all these years there may be a few discrepancies, but on the whole the story is correct. I hope that for other "old" Psywarriors this will evoke some memories, be they good or bad. If any of my ex-army buddies or other Psywarriors read this I hope you will contact me and share some of your remembrances. Best Wishes to all.
Since the time many of these pages were written I also heard from another service buddy and member of the 2nd L & L, Bill Bellio. All these years Bill saved a copy of the company publication "psyd-lites" that chronicled the history and happenings of and within the 2nd L & L at the time covered by these narratives. My memory was jogged in a number of ways (and corrected) after reading "psyd-lites" and you can also read the pages and see the photographs by going to that section of these pages.
Note 1: The Psychological Warfare Center was established at Fort Bragg on April 10, 1952. Its mission was to conduct individual training and supervise unit training in Psychological Warfare and Special Forces Operation; to develop and test Psychological Warfare and Special Forces doctrine, procedures, tactics, and techniques; to test and evaluate equipment employed in Psychological warfare and Special Forces Operations. SEE: "MAJOR GENERAL ROBERT ALEXIS MCCLURE, FORGOTTEN FATHER OF US ARMY SPECIAL WARFARE" By Dr. Alfred H. Paddock, Jr. (Colonel, USA Retired)
Go To: A note about the insignia!
Go To: Posing an interesting question!
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Second Publishing: 27-Sep-2005 04:18 PM - Last Update: 29-Mar-2006 04:58 AM
© 2005 by Frank R. & Alina B. Haus - All Rights Reserved